NPL wrap: Victory 0-0 Moreland Zebras

Melbourne Victory extended its unbeaten run in the NPL2 West to three games after a 0-0 draw against the Moreland Zebras on Sunday.

Summary

Victory had the best chance of the game at Epping Stadium as Nicholas Hatzigeorgiou missed a second-half penalty.

It marked a second straight draw for Victory, which had Cameron McGilp sent off in the closing stages.

In a tight first half, both teams struggled to create clear-cut opportunities.

Victory goalkeeper Matthew Sutton pushed away an Alec Goodwin strike in the ninth minute, while defender Benjamin Carrigan headed a Hatzigeorgiou corner wide on the half-hour mark.

Carrigan headed another Hatzigeorgiou corner just wide early in the second half before Victory created its best chance.

The lively Yazid Said burst into the area down the left and was brought down, but Hatzigeorgiou put his penalty just wide.

McGilp was sent off late after picking up his second yellow card before Victory saw out the final minutes relatively comfortably.

Head coach Gareth Naven

"I think a little slower than what I'd like in the first 45, I think second half – maybe because we had the wind in the back, I don't know – I thought there was more application, more intensity, more desire and more fortitude I suppose to try and take the game. I thought first 45 we started off too slow. I wasn't happy with the way we applied ourselves whether it was our defensive or attacking organisation.

"I must give credit to our boys, they did really work hard and defend corners and set-pieces really aggressively which is nice to see. Maybe this time 12 months ago we wouldn't have survived that I don't think in regards to set-pieces again so I think it's a credit to them. I think it just shows you we're trying to avoid our young players going on a rollercoaster ride of performances and if we can minimise that and today I think they took a step in the right direction to minimise that because the second half was the better response. They got back on track.

"Unfortunately, we didn't take the penalty in our favour, but there's many players that miss penalties so Hatzigeorgiou shouldn't be too concerned or too worried about it."

Under-20s

Victory's under-20s suffered a 2-0 loss to the Moreland Zebras.

NPL2 West 2018 Round 4
Melbourne Victory 0
Moreland Zebras 0

Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton; Andrew Visciglio, Benjamin Carrigan, Cameron McGilp, Jonathan Vakirtzis (c); Thierry Iradukunda, Nicholas Hatzigeorgiou (Birkan Kirdar); Nicholas Sette (Jack Palazzolo), Brady Quinn, Yazid Said (Maker Maker); Nuh Sehavdic.

Next week

Victory hosts the St Albans Saints on Saturday, March 17 at Epping Stadium.